pellets can be relied upon to stirke aman's 10" vitals-circle. So don't expect to drop him. That's with the standard 9 pellet load. With a 2 3/4" mag, you can maybe make an 18" pattern suffice, and with a 15 pellet, 3" mag load, a 20" pattern might suffice. With a really tight choke, you might be able to achieve the latter at 40 yds. MAYBE. Many a 20" riot barrel,using "tactical" 8 pellet, low velocity loads, is running on empty at a mere 50 ft, when it comes to reliable stopping power.